It seems like it’s been cold for a long time, huh? We’ve been getting teaser days of warmth, and sunlight, and spring, but some of you might be wondering: where is the green? At the farmers’ Markets right now, you’ll be hard pressed to find veggies that aren’t grown in a greenhouse, and if you’re like us here at Quinciple, you’re wondering, what’s taking so long?
You might remember last year, it warmed up really early, and many farmers were planting in the ground 2-3 weeks early. Surely, we all enjoyed the early warmth. But maybe what we don’t remember is how a late freeze hit our coast and killed off a lot of the baby buds that were popping up early. This particularly affected the fruit growers in the Northeast, so when we asked some of our farmers’ how they were feeling about the this ever-lingering cold, we were surprised to find out that they were feeling pretty good about it.
Nevia No, owner and farmer of Bodhitree Farms in Jobstown, NJ, said that they are almost a month behind planting in the fields compared to last year, but they have the greenhouse space to still offer many wonderful greens at the farmers’ market already. And, no farmer likes to speculate about how the season will go.
At Max Creek Fishery in East Meredith, NY, Dave Harris says they’ve had snow up through last week. But he wisely reminded us that while this year it’s taking the ground a while longer to warm up, he’s been farming for almost 20 years and in the scheme of things, it’s not that out of the ordinary to wait to plant till mid-April. Dave’s fish certainly do better with the cold! And he already has some watercress, and and sunchokes out at the market. Soon he’ll be planting his potatoes and lots more leafy greens. He likes to start his seeds right in the ground, and he’s not too worried about having to wait.
Our northerly friend, Mike from Tamarack Hollow Farm up in Burlington, Vermont, said that while other farmers in Vermont started planting early last year, in mid-March, he remained skeptical and waited to plant, because while the air was warm, the ground was still too cold. The last few years, Mike has consistently begun planting in early April, and this year, he’s just about to start. There was snow and frost on the ground up through last week at Tamarack Hollow Farm, so the only thing they have in the ground so far are onions. However, with the help of high-tunnels Mark already has baby greens at the market, that will soon be pulled up to make way for tomatoes!
Naturally, the scientists in us wanted to know why it’s taken the Spring so long to come this year. Thanks to the Farmers’ Almanac, we found out that there has been a stagnant high pressure system of warm air hanging out over the Atlantic Ocean and Greenland that has been blocking and re-directing the jet stream of warm air coming up from the southern hemisphere that normally brings our spring.
Luckily, the high-pressure system that has been blocking it is dissipating, and the first signs of spring are here. So while we might have to wait a little longer for the greens and veggies of spring to find their way to our plates, it’s incredibly refreshing for us to be engaged in a food system where nature is not something to be fought or ignored, but is a partner to us, and the food we eat depends on it. Here’s to being a part of a healthy food system! And to all the orchards that are breathing easy in this cool spring.
Read this original post at Quinciple.com